Glamour model spared jail over fraud

editorial image
0
Have your say

A glamour model who fraudulently claimed more than £16,000 in benefits has been spared jail.

Kirsty Summers, 23, led officials to believe she was an unemployed single mother but was in fact working on adult TV and online shows.

The mother-of-two claimed a total of £16,207.93 in income support, council tax credits and housing benefits between November 2009 and March 2011.

Sentencing the model at Taunton Dean Magistrates’ Court today, chair of the bench Julia Spotswood told her: “Miss Summers, for the offence of benefit fraud you will be sentenced to a 12-month community order and complete 200 hours of unpaid work. You will also pay £100 costs.

“We have looked at all the options, including custody, but we feel this is the best option.

“I don’t think anybody likes anyone who undertakes benefit fraud and I’m sure you agree.”

The tanned blonde, who appeared in court in heeled boots, tight black leggings, a white shirt and black coat pinched in at the waist, remained quiet during the short hearing.

Summers, of Ilchester, Somerset, had previously admitted one charge of fraud by false representation and one charge of fraud by failing to disclose information, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006.

She has agreed to repay the relevant departments, the court heard.

The court was told she first claimed benefits in 2006 which were “legitimate” claims but failed to inform the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) when she began working.

Andrew Ray, prosecuting, said: “The case arises from Miss Kirsty Summers claiming benefits and failing to declare she was actually working, with a total of approximately £16,000.

“The defendant claimed income support on the basis that she was an only parent.

“She also claimed housing benefit and council tax benefit.

“The Department (of Work and Pensions) found out that the defendant had been working and this was confirmed by the GSP interactive media group and Bluebird production.”

The court heard Summers had admitted during an interview with legal representation she had been working, self-employed, for Sport XXX, Bang Babes and others.

But she claimed a friend had told her she did not need tell the DWP she was working because it was less than 16 hours a week.

The model admitted claiming £3,736.36 in income support from the DWP from November 2009 until January 2011 and £10,103.69 in housing benefit from South Somerset District Council from November 2009 until February 2011.

She also took council tax benefit of £2,367.88 from November 2009 until March 2011 - a total fraud of £16,207.93.

Summers has started to pay back some of the amount she fraudulently claimed but the court was told she was finding it difficult to find work following reports in the media that wrongly claimed she was working as a porn star.

Magistrates heard Summers has no previous convictions but had a “troubled childhood and upbringing”.

Ray Peters, mitigating, said: “The defendant is 23 years of age.

“She is a lone parent with children aged six and three.

“She had been told she could work up to 16 hours a week without having to declare it.

“In principle this is correct, but of course that depends on the level of earnings.

“She was too scared to inform the department of what had gone on and took the ostrich approach which, as we all know, does not work.

“She realises she has to be punished for the offences, but her main concern is that if she were to lose her liberty it would have a major and an adverse affect on her children.

“She would not want them to suffer due to her wrongdoing.”

Summers, who only spoke during the hearing to confirm her name, address and date of birth, left the court without comment.

'Can you hear me?': Leeds residents warned to hang up on new phone scam